Business Mirror – DTI: Don’t be conned by online sellers

September 22, 2014

September 21, 2014 | Business Mirror |

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THE consumer-protection arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is advising consumers to be on guard against unscrupulous groups in purchasing items online as the Christmas season nears.

According to a statement, from January 2013 to present, the DTI has received 612 complaints from consumers that purchased a good or service through the Internet. Among the complaints received were the nondelivery of product/service, refusal to honor vouchers purchased from online group-buying web sites, defective products and misleading advertisements.

Based on records, the DTI has resolved 378, or 62 percent, of the total number of complaints received; while 174 were dismissed. The DTI has 36 complaints that are in the process of resolution, while nine cases have been endorsed to other agencies for action.

“Once again, the department reminds consumers to be extra careful in getting into online purchases than be sorry after and realize that they were deceived or short-changed,” Trade Undersecretary Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba said in a statement.

Online merchants are, likewise, warned to abide by the e-commerce law that mandates online shops to register and renew their business names and permits, just like any other enterprise.

“The DTI prompts online retailers to properly operate as an enterprise and ensure their registration of their business names to the DTI as sole proprietors; or to SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] as partnerships and corporations; subsequently, register their business permits to operate in their respective local government units,” Dimagiba said.

On promotional activities, the official similarly cautioned online proprietors that offering items on promos requires a permit as stipulated in the Consumer Act of the Philippines and the E-Commerce Act.

“It is imperative to have a check and balance on sales-promotion activities, particularly online, that has been the most accessible, fastest and widest mode of transaction at this time, and ensure the protection of the general public,” Dimagiba said.

Source: Business Mirror